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Dr. Shehzad Saleem

Compassion is a core human value. It is the foundation of human bonding. To feel for others especially and to treat them with compassion is all what humanity is about. It should start from those closest to us but should never stop even for people who are far away from us and inflicted with misery or stress.

Compassion is found naturally in every human being. It is only circumstances and desensitization that at times mitigate it. At other times, it is simply laziness and lethargy which prevent us from embarking upon some of its practical requisites.

Its expression should be more potent when we see misery around us. People living in shanties and those who are shelterless, the sick who need constant care, the handicapped in despair, the bereaved who have lost a dear one, the elderly who are in agony, the animals that are wounded and the plants that are withering away should make us pour out our compassion like a gushing fountain.

A more subtle case for compassion is people whose circumstances may be hidden from us or the precarious conditions in which they live are not readily apparent. They are ones whose self-esteem does not let them disclose the woes they are suffering. It is on such occasions that we must make an extra effort and not merely be satisfied on what things apparently seem. A deeper concern and a keen eye can reveal their anguish.

A case can only be made for self-compassion. It means that just we must show compassion to others, our own selves also are in need of it. We must not be unkind and unforgiving to our own selves. At times deep remorse induces us to punish ourselves and deprive ourselves of the pleasures of life. One should be remorseful before God and seek His forgiveness. Remaining in a perpetual state of guilt damages our self-confidence.

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